Florida provides divorcing couples several pathways to receive a legal dissolution of marriage. Anyone who has lived in the state for six months or longer can file for divorce.
Reviewing these options can provide clarity during a potentially challenging time.
Florida allows simplified dissolution when both spouses agree about how to divide their shared property and debts. Neither spouse can seek alimony with this process. Either person can request financial disclosure or they can agree to forego disclosure.
The couple cannot receive a simplified dissolution if they have children together or if either spouse is pregnant. They start the process by submitting the property division agreement to the court in the county where they live.
Most couples pursue regular dissolution. Either party can file a divorce petition that details their wishes for child custody, alimony and property visitation. The other person can issue a response within 20 days. Florida mandates financial disclosure with regular dissolution. That means both spouses have to fully account their income, assets and debts.
The judge can order mediation to assist couples in reaching an agreement without a hearing. The process depends on the county where they file for divorce. Otherwise, the court will make the final determination about contentious issues.
When the couple resorts to a hearing, both members can present evidence to support their case. Generally, Florida courts use the equitable division standard for property division. If the couple has children, the judge will ensure the parenting plan meets the child’s best interests.